I’m a bit of magpie when it comes to recipes and gather my inspiration from all over the place. That’s why social media was made for people like me with tasty ideas being shared every second of every minute of every day on the likes of Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
One thing I enjoy most about social media is the way it’s allowed me to reconnect with family members strewn across the world and discover a shared obsession with food. Take my cousin Sisi for example in Australia. The last time I met her in person was at our family house in Malaysia and I was just eight-years-old. But since we connected on Facebook, I’ve got to know her and her lovely family and be wowed by photos of her culinary creations. Likewise with my Aunty Lorene. She lives in the States and I think the last time I saw her was in Singapore when I was in my early 20s. And I so enjoy reading her posts on Facebook where she recreates her favourite foods from her childhood in Malaysia.
So when I was invited to come up with a lamb curry recipe using fantastic Welsh lamb to celebrate National Curry Week (12-18 October 2015), I turned to Lorene and Sisi for some Malaysian inspiration. And they didn’t disappoint. Continue reading “Malaysian curry with Welsh lamb for National Curry Week”
Don’t you just love pomegranate seeds? I reckon you could scatter a handful on practically any old dish and it would be transformed into something quite magical. Or is that just me?
It’s clear to see why the beautiful pomegranate is one of the possible contenders for the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. I’d have been tempted.
This Persian jewelled rice however is as far removed from just any old dish as you can get. It’s a wonderfully light and fragrant taste of the Middle East, incredibly easy to prepare and looks a million dollars. Or should that be rial?
As well as pomegranate, it features juicy dried cranberries, walnuts, orange zest, flat leaf parsley and is flavoured with cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, saffron and garlic. This fluffy, fruity, delicately spiced rice makes a perfect light lunch served just as it is or as a delicious accompaniment to meat or fish. I also plan to take some on our next summer picnic. Continue reading “Jewelled Persian rice with pomegranates, walnuts & parsley”
While I love experimenting with different spices, I must admit to resorting to a handful of tried-and-tested spice mixes for many of our meals: garam masala for instance for curries, or ras-el-hanout for meat rubs. So you’ll see there was a fair bit of self-interest when I set Spice Mixes as the theme for the last Spice Trail challenge; I was after a little spicy inspiration for new meals to try out with different spice mixes I’ve never played with before. And as ever my fellow food bloggers didn’t disappoint. Here follows a sensational selection of spicy dishes that are guaranteed to get your own culinary creative juices flowing or, at the very least, your mouth watering…
1. Vegetarian Japanese Curry
2. Stuffed Eggplant
3. Southwestern Avocado Scramble Salad
4. Slow Cooked Lamb Ras-el-Hanout
5. Middle Eastern Spiced Campfire Chickpeas
Continue reading “In the mix: bloggers’ favourite spice mix recipes”
One of the joys of being an Aga owner is being able to pop a dish, be it a joint of meat or a casserole perhaps, into the bottom oven (the simmering oven) and forget about for several hours or all day, or in this case overnight, and when you return, it has magically transformed into the most succulent and tender of feasts.
As it’s a rather fatty meat, lamb is perfect for slow-roasting, as the fat keeps the meat mouth-wateringly moist. This slow-roasted shoulder makes for a very special meal, and since a large joint of lamb isn’t particularly cheap, I’d save it for suitably special occasions or big family gatherings. But the beauty of it is that’s so incredibly easy to do, yet tastes a million dollars. And I reckon you do get your money’s worth. One shoulder of lamb served seven of us for Sunday lunch, with plenty of leftovers for a further two more meals during the week. Continue reading “Overnight roast spicy lamb shoulder – perfect for the Aga”
I was lucky enough to meet the brilliant Italian chef Valentina Harris at a special dinner party thrown earlier this year by Paddy and Judith O’Hagan who are part of the team behind the Wells Food Festival. The party was for volunteers and supporters of the festival, and we were treated to an incredible Italian five-course feast, all prepared by Valentina, who cooked at last year’s festival and is lined up to be involved again this year. There were beautiful canapes, followed by a selection of pasta dishes, then a wonderful risotto, an array of sweet treats and finally cheese.
One of the desserts was poached pears in the most heavenly red wine and spice syrup. I was rather surprised by how much my oldest daughter Jessie enjoyed the pears – so much so, she insisted we take our chances and pop into the kitchen (we’d been warned about the amount of swearing going on in there!) to see if Valentina would share her recipe with us. Continue reading “Poached pears in red wine and spices”
One of the ways I am trying to feed my family more healthily is to increase our intake of seasonal vegetables while reducing the amount of red meat we eat. Normally I love my samosas filled with spicy minced lamb but this version with kale and cauliflower is every bit as tasty and much, much better for you.
I wasn’t 100% certain my children would be so taken by them though, so I was extremely pleased when they gave them their seal of approval, with Jessie, my oldest, happily tucking in to seconds and then thirds. Continue reading “Kale and cauliflower samosas”
I’m playing catch up with The Spice Trail this month and bringing you two months’ worth of recipe round-ups in one go. November saw us celebrating the humble peppercorn as a star ingredient in its own right, while in December we showcased recipes using the gorgeous and very versatile allspice berry. Continue reading “The Spice Trail round-up: peppercorns and allspice”
Whenever I lift the lid on a jar of allspice berries, that gorgeous aroma instantly gives me a warm, Christmassy feeling. Along with cloves, allspice is pretty much synonymous with festive bakes and cakes. Yet there is so much more to allspice than Christmas cake… Continue reading “December’s Spice Trail: cooking with allspice”
If you’re in the mood for an ‘Indian’ but fancy something a little more adventurous than your usual Saturday night chicken curry and naan bread, here is some spicy inspiration to stir up your senses from food bloggers across the globe. Continue reading “17 recipes inspired by India”
Normally I have the family in mind when I post recipes on my blog, but on this occasion this dish is all about me, me, me!
I adore fish and seafood you see, but I don’t get to eat or cook with it as much as I might like. My husband is sadly unable to eat most fish and seafood and I don’t really like cooking separate meals for different family members if I can avoid it. That’s why you don’t generally see that many fish recipes here. Continue reading “Norwegian gravlaks and a simple beetroot pickle”